A dear friend or loved one calls you up in the middle of the night. They’re in trouble and they’re asking you to post bail for them.
Your first reaction is to say of course, anything to help. But there’s a niggling voice in the back of your head. Do you get your bail money back? It’s not a small sum of money on the line.
Unfortunately, it’s not a cut and dried answer. Let’s look at what affects it.
When Will the Court Return Bail?
If the defendant makes their court appearances, their case is dismissed, or they are found not guilty of the crime, the court will return their bail money.
In other words, if you feel that your loved one has been falsely accused and will be responsible enough to show up to their court appearances, chances are good that you’ll get your bail money back.
However, if your friend has a history of flaking out on important appointments or you think they might be guilty, you may want to think twice.
The court does not return bail money if the defendant doesn’t show up for their court appearances. If they are found guilty of the crime, the bail money is returned, minus the costs of the trial.
If you are entitled to your bail money back, the court typically sends a check in the mail. Make sure that you give them your full and correct address so it doesn’t get lost. It can be slow so give it about 6 weeks to show up.
Types of Bail
Whether for yourself or a friend, there are typically three ways to post bail. The type of bail you post will affect whether you get all your money back or only some of it.
Surety bonds involve using a bail bondsman. Upfront you only pay a percentage of the bail money to the bail bondsman, sometimes as low as 5%. Then the bail bondsman pays the full amount to the court. This is helpful when you can’t afford the bail.
However, even if the bail money is returned, the full amount goes to the bail bondsman and you don’t get anything back. The percentage you paid is their fee for covering the rest of the bail.
Cash Bail and Property Bonds
If you can afford to post the full bond yourself, you will receive the full amount back if the bail money is returned.
What if you don’t have enough free cash to post the bail? You can put up a piece of property you own to cover the amount. If the court ends up keeping the bail, they will seize the property as payment. If the bail is returned, you keep your ownership of the property.
Do You Get Your Bail Money Back? It Depends
So do you get your bail money back? There’s no way to know for sure. But if you think your friend is innocent and is responsible enough to show up in court, there’s a good chance that you will.
Need help posting the full amount? Contact us for bail bond services in Greenville North Carolina.